So, there’s a very weird and interesting situation going on with the Polish black metal band Batushka. As you see on that Metal Archives profile, the status of the band is “disputed.” Back in December, both core members claimed to have kicked the other one out and would be continuing on without them. So, today there are two active Polish black metal bands called Batushka.
The point of view of Krzysztof Drabikowski is that Batushka is his baby: he created it, wrote all the songs on their album, hired the other member as a vocalist and hired a drummer to play compositions that he’d already written and recorded. The other member, Bartłomiej Krysiuk, decided that Batushka is actually his project and he was the one to whom the name belongs, so he has continued from where it left off and hijacked their social media accounts, locking Drabikowski out of most of them. His version of Batushka is the one that will be touring this year and releasing a new album through Metal Blade, the label they previously signed to in the US, with a guitarist and drummer who he recruited. The drummer of the original project quit last year and has joined neither new iteration. Drabikowski released a new Batushka album on May 26, and Krysiuk has a new Batushka album of his own set to be released on July 12. They released a single with a music video on May 15. He is using the original band’s Bandcamp page to release it as well.
Who the name belongs to is currently locked in a legal dispute. For more info, one may watch this video and check out an article including a scan of the certified court decision released by Drabikowski. He has been the most detailed and outspoken side of this issue thus far.
I am wondering if we should take the same route as Metal Archives and split the band into three profiles: use the existing one for the original band that released Yekteníya VII and Litourgiya which effectively ended in 2018, create one for Drabikowski’s currently solo project and move Панихида to that profile, and create one for Krysiuk’s new Batushka and move Hospodi to that profile. The two new ones will have a formation year of 2018.
I believe this makes sense because it really is three iterations of the band at this point. The original iteration featured Drabikowski, Krysiuk, and a drummer, Мартин. Мартин said in this statement that he hasn’t been in Batushka since April 2018. Drabikowski stated that he had parted ways with Krysiuk and would be fighting for ownership of the name in court. Meanwhile, Krysiuk took over the band’s social media accounts and whatnot in order to continue on without Drabikowski, instead recruiting new members and writing new music as the new frontman.
I suppose another way would be to use the existing Batushka profile for Krysiuk’s version, as he has literally done himself. I wouldn’t be opposed to that, but I do think splitting it off into three profiles is a better way to handle it for now at least…while it’s still kinda up in the air and both sides are still recording as Batushka despite the legal dispute.